Few studies have examined the association between environmental phthalate exposure and children’s neurocognitive development. This longitudinal study examined cognitive function in relation to pre-and postnatal phthalate exposure in children 2–12 years old. We recruited 430 pregnant women in their third trimester in Taichung, Taiwan from 2001–2002. A total of 110, 79, 76, and 73 children were followed up at ages 2, 5, 8, and 11, respectively. We evaluated the children’s cognitive function at four different time points using the Bayley and Wechsler tests for assessing neurocognitive functions and intelligence (IQ). Urine samples were collected from mothers during pregnancy and from children at each follow-up visit. They were analyzed for seven metabolite concentrations of widely used phthalate esters. These esters included monomethyl phthalate, monoethyl phthalate, mono-butyl phthalate, mono-benzyl phthalate, and three metabolites of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, namely, mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, mono(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate, and mono(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate. We constructed a linear mixed model to examine the relationships between the phthalate metabolite concentrations and the Bayley and IQ scores. We found significant inverse associations between the children’s levels of urinary mono(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate and the sum of the three metabolites of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate and their IQ scores (β = -1.818; 95% CI: -3.061, -0.574, p = 0.004 for mono(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate; β = -1.575; 95% CI: -3.037, -0.113, p = 0.035 for the sum of the three metabolites) after controlling for maternal phthalate levels and potential confounders. We did not observe significant associations between maternal phthalate exposure and the children’s IQ scores. Children’s but not prenatal phthalate exposure was associated with decreased cognitive development in the young children. Large-scale prospective cohort studies are needed to confirm these findings in the future.
Objective. To investigate if different treatment strategy of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) was associated glaucoma risk in Taiwanese population. Methods. Population-based retrospective cohort study was conducted using data sourced from the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000. We included 2528 OSA patients and randomly selected and matched 10112 subjects without OSA as the control cohort. The risk of glaucoma in OSA patients was investigated based on the managements of OSA (without treatment, with surgery, with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment, and with multiple modalities). The multivariable Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratio (HR) after adjusting for sex, age, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and coronary artery disease. Results. The adjusted HR of glaucoma for OSA patients was 1.88 (95% CI: 1.46–2.42), compared with controls. For patients without treatment, the adjusted HR was 2.15 (95% CI: 1.60–2.88). For patients with treatments, the adjusted HRs of glaucoma were not significantly different from controls, except for those with CPAP (adjusted HR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.09–2.49). Conclusions. OSA is associated with an increased risk of glaucoma. However, surgery reduces slightly the glaucoma hazard for OSA patients.
To date, the relationship between zolpidem use and subsequent risk of glaucoma in a Taiwanese population has not been assessed.
We used data from the National Health Insurance system to investigate whether zolpidem use was related to glaucoma risk. A 1:4 matched case-control study was conducted. The cases were patients newly diagnosed with glaucoma from 2001 to 2010. The controls were randomly selected non-glaucoma subjects matched by sex and age (±5 years). Zolpidem exposure and/or the average dosage of zolpidem used (mg/year) were evaluated. Medical comorbidities were considered as confounding factors. Multiple logistic regression models were used to evaluate the potential risk of zolpidem exposure on glaucoma with/without adjustment for the effects of confounding variables.
The exposure rate of zolpidem use in the glaucoma group was significantly higher than that of the control group (2.8% vs. 2.0%, P < 0.0001). The adjusted odds ratio (OR) of the risk of glaucoma for those with zolpidem use vs. those without was 1.19 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02–1.38). Compared to non-zolpidem users, zolpidem users with an average dose of more than 200 mg/year had significantly increased risk of glaucoma (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.03–1.68).
This study suggests that the use of zolpidem might increase the risk of subsequent glaucoma. Further confirmatory studies are recommended to clarify this important issue.
zolpidem; glaucoma; Taiwanese
NRAS-mutant melanomas are extremely aggressive and highly resistant to currently
available therapeutic modalities. Hence, new targets and therapeutic strategies for
NRAS-driven melanomas are needed. As blocking NRAS directly has not been possible thus
far, targeting downstream NRAS effectors, such as MEK, is being evaluated as an
alternative therapeutic approach. However, blocking this pathway alone has limited
efficacy. In this issue, Posch et al. report on a combination approach
co-targeting PLK1 and MEK in NRAS-mutant melanomas. This combination triggers a dual
blockade of the cell cycle machinery, leading to apoptosis, and it may provide a new
strategy to treat NRAS-mutant melanoma.
Tissue transglutaminase, upregulated by TGFβ, is also highly expressed in primary brain tumors, including gliomas and meningiomas by expression profile microarray. Direct knockdown of transglutminase induced arrest of cell proliferation and cell apoptosis in brain tumor cells. Higher expression of transglutaminase in meningioma tissue correlated to the WHO grading and recurrence. With competitive inhibition by cystamine to the transglutaminase, the cells presented with decreased AKT phosphorylation and increased c-Jun phosphorylation. The addition of cystamine also increase the expression of cleaved caspase-3 and TUNEL stainings. Furthermore, the S6 ribosome phosphorylation significantly increased, implied the blocking of mTOR pathway. In clonclusion, transglutaminase, possibly linked to TGFβ, maybe a potential adjuvant therapeutic target by decrease of cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis in primary brain tumors.
To investigate whether Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) eradication would influence the risk of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) in patients with peptic ulcer disease.
From the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000, 6061 patients with peptic ulcer and receiving H pylori eradication therapy were recruited. The study cohort was subdivided into early (within 1 year) and late (after 1 year) eradication cohorts. The 24,244 control cohort subjects were those who without peptic ulcer and without receiving H pylori eradication therapy and were frequency-matched with the H pylori eradication cohort by age, sex, and the year of receiving H pylori eradication therapy.
The higher incidence of POAG was observed in late H pylori eradication cohort and in early H pylori eradication cohort than in control cohort (1.57, 1.32, and 0.95, per 1000 person-year, respectively). However, overall risk of glaucoma was not significantly higher in the late eradication than in the early eradication (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.85, 95% confidence interval = 0.48–1.53). The POAG incidence was greater in the late H pylori eradication cohort when follow-up duration ≤5 years (1.59, per 1000 person-years). However, when follow-up duration >5 years, the incidence of POAG was greater in the early H pylori eradication cohort (1.68, per 1000 person-years). These relationships were not associated with a significantly increased or decreased risk of POAG in multivariable analyses.
Either early or late H pylori eradication does not significantly reduce the risk of glaucoma in patients with peptic ulcer disease compared with normal control.
The research was undertaken to determine the bacteriostatic effects of the concentrate of Japanese apricot juice (bainiku-ekisu), which is a popular health food in Taiwan and Japan, on Enterococcus faecalis ATCC 29212, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923, and Escherichia coli ATCC 25922. The results show that E. faecalis, S. aureus, and E. coli could be killed or inhibited by bainiku-ekisu at concentrations between 1.0 and 10.0 mg/mL. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was 1 mg/mL for all strains, and the minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) were 5, 2.5, and 2.5 mg/mL for E. faecalis, S. aureus, and E. coli, respectively. Using the growth rate to calculate the MICs and MBCs, the MICs were 1.55, 1.43, and 0.97 mg/mL, and the MBCs were 2.59, 2.63, and 2.25 mg/mL for E. faecalis, S. aureus, and E. coli, respectively. According to the D values, E. faecalis and S. aureus exhibited lower resistance than E. coli at lower bainiku-ekisu concentrations (1.0 and 2.5 mg/mL), and the resistance of these two pathogens was better than that of E. coli at higher bainiku-ekisu concentrations (5.0 and 10.0 mg/mL). The Z values of the E. faecalis, S. aureus, and E. coli strains were 3.47, 4.93, and 11.62 mg/mL, respectively.
Although BRAF and MEK inhibitors have proven clinical benefits in melanoma, most patients develop resistance. We report a de novo MEK2-Q60P mutation and BRAF gain in a melanoma from a patient who progressed on the MEK inhibitor trametinib and did not respond to the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib. We also identified the same MEK2-Q60P mutation along with BRAF amplification in a xenograft tumor derived from a second melanoma patient resistant to the combination of dabrafenib and trametinib. Melanoma cells chronically exposed to trametinib acquired concurrent MEK2-Q60P mutation and BRAF-V600E amplification, which conferred resistance to MEK and BRAF inhibitors. The resistant cells had sustained MAPK activation and persistent phosphorylation of S6K. A triple combination of dabrafenib, trametinib, and the PI3K/mTOR inhibitor GSK2126458 led to sustained tumor growth inhibition. Hence, concurrent genetic events that sustain MAPK signaling can underlie resistance to both BRAF and MEK inhibitors, requiring novel therapeutic strategies to overcome it.
Mitochondria form a reticulum network dynamically fuse and divide in the cell. The balance between mitochondria fusion and fission is correlated to the shape, activity and integrity of these pivotal organelles. Resveratrol is a polyphenol antioxidant that can extend life span in yeast and worm. This study examined mitochondria dynamics in replicative senescent yeast cells as well as the effects of resveratrol on mitochondria fusion and fission. Collecting cells by biotin-streptavidin sorting method revealed that majority of the replicative senescent cells bear fragmented mitochondrial network, indicating mitochondria dynamics favors fission. Resveratrol treatment resulted in a reduction in the ratio of senescent yeast cells with fragmented mitochondria. The readjustment of mitochondria dynamics induced by resveratrol likely derives from altered expression profiles of fusion and fission genes. Our results demonstrate that resveratrol serves not only as an antioxidant, but also a compound that can mitigate mitochondria fragmentation in replicative senescent yeast cells.
Nowadays, obesity becomes a serious global problem, which can induce a series of diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, cancer, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and stoke. For the mechanisms of diseases, the hedgehog signaling pathway plays an important role in body patterning during embryogenesis. For this reason, smoothened homologue (Smo) protein had been indicated as the drug target. In addition, the small-molecule Smo inhibitor had also been used in oncology clinical trials. To improve drug development of TCM compounds, we aim to investigate the potent lead compounds as Smo inhibitor from the TCM compounds in TCM Database@Taiwan. The top three TCM compounds, precatorine, labiatic acid, and 2,2′-[benzene-1,4-diylbis(methanediyloxybenzene-4,1-diyl)]bis(oxoacetic acid), have displayed higher potent binding affinities than the positive control, LY2940680, in the docking simulation. After MD simulations, which can optimize the result of docking simulation and validate the stability of H-bonds between each ligand and Smo protein under dynamic conditions, top three TCM compounds maintain most of interactions with Smo protein, which keep the ligand binding stable in the binding domain. Hence, we propose precatorine, labiatic acid, and 2,2′-[benzene-1,4-diylbis(methanediyloxybenzene-4,1-diyl)]bis(oxoacetic acid) as potential lead compounds for further study in drug development process with the Smo protein.
A recent research in cancer research demonstrates that tumor-specific pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) plays an important role in chromosome segregation and mitosis progression of tumor cells. To improve the drug development of TCM compounds, we aim to identify potent TCM compounds as lead compounds of PKM2 regulators. PONDR-Fit protocol was utilized to predict the disordered disposition in the binding domain of PKM2 protein before virtual screening as the disordered structure in the protein may cause the side effect and downregulation of the possibility of ligand to bind with target protein. MD simulation was performed to validate the stability of interactions between PKM2 proteins and each ligand after virtual screening. The top TCM compounds, saussureamine C and precatorine, extracted from Lycium chinense Mill. and Abrus precatorius L., respectively, have higher binding affinities with target protein in docking simulation than control. They have stable H-bonds with residues A:Lys311 and some other residues in both chains of PKM2 protein. Hence, we propose the TCM compounds, saussureamine C and precatorine, as potential candidates as lead compounds for further study in drug development process with the PKM2 protein against cancer.
It has been indicated that tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor-6 (TRAF6) will upregulate the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and promote tumor angiogenesis. TRAF6 proteins can be treated as drug target proteins for a differentiation therapy against cancers. As structural disordered disposition in the protein may induce the side-effect and reduce the occupancy for ligand to bind with target protein, PONDR-Fit protocol was performed to predict the disordered disposition in TRAF6 protein before virtual screening. TCM compounds from the TCM Database@Taiwan were employed for virtual screening to identify potent compounds as lead compounds of TRAF6 inhibitor. After virtual screening, the MD simulation was performed to validate the stability of interactions between TRAF6 proteins and each ligand. The top TCM compounds, tryptophan, diiodotyrosine, and saussureamine C, extracted from Saussurea lappa Clarke, Bos taurus domesticus Gmelin, and Lycium chinense Mill., have higher binding affinities with target protein in docking simulation. However, the docking pose of TRAF6 protein with tryptophan is not stable under dynamic condition. For the other two TCM candidates, diiodotyrosine and saussureamine C maintain the similar docking poses under dynamic conditions. Hence, we propose the TCM compounds, diiodotyrosine and saussureamine C, as potential candidates as lead compounds for further study in drug development process with the TRAF6 protein against cancer.
A recent research demonstrates that the inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) improves survival and health for patients with Leigh syndrome. mTOR proteins can be treated as drug target proteins against Leigh syndrome and other mitochondrial disorders. In this study, we aim to identify potent TCM compounds from the TCM Database@Taiwan as lead compounds of mTOR inhibitors. PONDR-Fit protocol was employed to predict the disordered disposition in mTOR protein before virtual screening. After virtual screening, the MD simulation was employed to validate the stability of interactions between each ligand and mTOR protein in the docking poses from docking simulation. The top TCM compounds, picrasidine M and acerosin, have higher binding affinities with target protein in docking simulation than control. There have H-bonds with residues Val2240 and π interactions with common residue Trp2239. After MD simulation, the top TCM compounds maintain similar docking poses under dynamic conditions. The top two TCM compounds, picrasidine M and acerosin, were extracted from Picrasma quassioides (D. Don) Benn. and Vitex negundo L. Hence, we propose the TCM compounds, picrasidine M and acerosin, as potential candidates as lead compounds for further study in drug development process with the mTOR protein against Leigh syndrome and other mitochondrial disorders.
Recently, cardiovascular disease, also known as loop circulatory system diseases or disorders, is one of the serious diseases including heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, hypertension, hypotension, and thrombosis. Human pregnane X receptor, PXR, plays a crucial role in exogenous and endobiotic metabolism for rabbit, rat, mouse, and human. The PXR activation can protect the blood vessels from damage of hazardous substances. In this study we aim to investigate the potent lead compounds as PXR receptor agonist against cardiovascular disease. To improve drug development of TCM compounds, we aim to investigate the potent lead compounds as PXR agonists from the TCM compounds in TCM Database@Taiwan. The top three TCM compounds, bis(4-hydroxybenzyl) ether mono-β-D-glucopyranoside (BEMG), ixerisoside, and tangshenoside II, have displayed higher potent binding affinities than the positive control, PNU-142721, in the docking simulation. After MD simulations, which can optimize the result of docking simulation and validate the stability of H-bonds between each ligand and PXR protein under dynamic conditions, top TCM compounds, BEMG and tangshenoside II, maintain most of interactions with PXR protein, which keep the ligand binding stable in the binding domain. Hence, we propose BEMG and tangshenoside II as potential lead compounds for further study in drug development process with the PXR protein.
A recent research of cancer has indicated that the mutant of isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 (IDH1 and 2) genes will induce various cancers, including chondrosarcoma, cholangiocarcinomas, and acute myelogenous leukemia due to the effect of point mutations in the active-site arginine residues of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH), such as IDH1/R132, IDH2/R140, and IDH2/R172. As the inhibition for those tumor-associated mutant IDH proteins may induce differentiation of those cancer cells, these tumor-associated mutant IDH proteins can be treated as a drug target proteins for a differentiation therapy against cancers. In this study, we aim to identify the potent TCM compounds from the TCM Database@Taiwan as lead compounds of IDH2 R140Q mutant inhibitor. Comparing to the IDH2 R140Q mutant protein inhibitor, AGI-6780, the top two TCM compounds, precatorine and abrine, have higher binding affinities with target protein in docking simulation. After MD simulation, the top two TCM compounds remain as the same docking poses under dynamic conditions. In addition, precatorine is extracted from Abrus precatorius L., which represents the cytotoxic and proapoptotic effects for breast cancer and several tumor lines. Hence, we propose the TCM compounds, precatorine and abrine, as potential candidates as lead compounds for further study in drug development process with the IDH2 R140Q mutant protein against cancer.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that will affect quality of life and, working efficiency, and produce negative thoughts for patients. Current therapy of RA is treated with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Although most of these treatment methods are effective, most patients still have a pleasant experience either due to poor efficacy or side effects or both. Interleukin-6 receptor (IL6R) is important in the pathogenesis of RA. In this study, we would like to detect the potential candidates which inhibit IL6R against RA from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). We use TCM compounds from the TCM Database@Taiwan for virtually screening the potential IL6R inhibitors. The TCM candidate compound, calycosin, has potent binding affinity with IL6R protein. The molecular dynamics simulation was employed to validate the stability of interaction in the protein complex with calycosin. The analysis indicates that protein complex with calycosin is more stable. In addition, calycosin is known to be one of the components of Angelica sinensis, which has been indicated to have an important role in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, calycosin is a potential candidate as lead compounds for further study in drug development process with IL6R protein against rheumatoid arthritis.
Apolipoprotein E4 (Apo E4) is the major genetic risk factor in the causation of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study we utilize virtual screening of the world's largest traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) database and investigate potential compounds for the inhibition of ApoE4. We present the top three TCM candidates: Solapalmitine, Isodesacetyluvaricin, and Budmunchiamine L5 for further investigation. Dynamics analysis and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation were used to simulate protein-ligand complexes for observing the interactions and protein variations. Budmunchiamine L5 did not have the highest score from virtual screening; however, the dynamics pose is similar to the initial docking pose after MD simulation. Trajectory analysis reveals that Budmunchiamine L5 was stable over all simulation times. The migration distance of Budmunchiamine L5 illustrates that docked ligands are not variable from the initial docked site. Interestingly, Arg158 was observed to form H-bonds with Budmunchiamine L5 in the docking pose and MD snapshot, which indicates that the TCM compounds could stably bind to ApoE4. Our results show that Budmunchiamine L5 has good absorption, blood brain barrier (BBB) penetration, and less toxicity according to absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity (ADMET) prediction and could, therefore, be safely used for developing novel ApoE4 inhibitors.
Superoxide dismutase type 1 (SOD1) mutations cause protein aggregation and decrease protein stability, which are linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) disease. This research utilizes the world's largest traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) database to search novel inhibitors of mutant SOD1, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were used to analyze the stability of protein that interacted with docked ligands. Docking results show that hesperidin and 2,3,5,4′-tetrahydroxystilbene-2-O-β-D-glucoside (THSG) have high affinity to mutant SOD1 and then dopamine. For MD simulation analysis, hesperidin and THSG displayed similar value of RMSD with dopamine, and the migration analysis reveals stable fluctuation at the end of MD simulation time. Interestingly, distance between the protein and ligand has distinct difference, and hesperidin changes the position from initial binding site to the other place. In flexibility of residues analysis, the secondary structure among all complexes does not change, indicating that the structure are not affect ligand binding. The binding poses of hesperidin and THSG are similar to dopamine after molecular simulation. Our result indicated that hesperidin and THSG might be potential lead compound to design inhibitors of mutant SOD1 for ALS therapy.
Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is an important phosphatase which regulates various cellular processes, such as protein synthesis, cell growth, cellular signaling, apoptosis, metabolism, and stress responses. It is a holoenzyme composed of the structural A and catalytic C subunits and a regulatory B subunit. As an environmental toxin, okadaic acid, is a tumor promoter and binds to PP2A catalytic C subunit and the cancer-associated mutations in PP2A structural A subunit in human tumor tissue; PP2A may have tumor-suppressing function. It is a potential drug target in the treatment of cancer. In this study, we screen the TCM compounds in TCM Database@Taiwan to investigate the potent lead compounds as PP2A agent. The results of docking simulation are optimized under dynamic conditions by MD simulations after virtual screening to validate the stability of H-bonds between PP2A-α protein and each ligand. The top TCM candidates, trichosanatine and squamosamide, have potential binding affinities and interactions with key residues Arg89 and Arg214 in the docking simulation. In addition, these interactions were stable under dynamic conditions. Hence, we propose the TCM compounds, trichosanatine and squamosamide, as potential candidates as lead compounds for further study in drug development process with the PP2A-α protein.
To study the association between retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and the progression of diabetic retinopathy (DR).
Using the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000 of Taiwan, we identified individuals with an initial diagnosis for RP during the period of 1997–2008. A non-RP comparison group, 10-fold frequency matched by sex, age, index year and the year of diabetes diagnosed, were randomly selected from the same database. The occurrence of DR was observed for all subjects until the end of 2009. The Kaplan-Meier curves were used to illustrate the cumulative probability of developing DR for the RP group and comparison groups. The hazard ratio (HR) of DR for the RP group relative to the comparison group was estimated using Cox proportional hazards model after adjusting for potential confounders.
The Kaplan-Meier curves were not statistically significant different between the RP group and the comparison group. However, the RP group had a higher cumulative probability of developing DR during the first six to seven years. The cumulative probability kept increasing and became higher in the comparison group but remained unchanged in the RP group. The HR for the RP patients comparing with the comparison group was 0.96 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.43–2.14). Stratified by severity, RP was associated with a non-statistically significant reduced risk of proliferative DR (PDR) (HR = 0.70, 95% CI = 0.16–3.14). The HR for non-proliferative DR (NPDR) was 1.08 (95% CI = 0.40–2.86).
In this study, RP was not statistically significant associated with the incidence of DR.
mTOR inhibitors are used clinically to treat renal cancer but are not curative. Here we show that autophagy is a resistance mechanism of human renal cell carcinoma (RCC) cell lines to mTOR inhibitors. RCC cell lines have high basal autophagy that is required for survival to mTOR inhibition. In RCC4 cells, inhibition of mTOR with CCI-779 stimulates autophagy and eliminates RIP kinases (RIPKs) and this is blocked by autophagy inhibition, which induces RIPK- and ROS-dependent necroptosis in vitro and suppresses xenograft growth. Autophagy of mitochondria is required for cell survival since mTOR inhibition turns off Nrf2 antioxidant defense. Thus, coordinate mTOR and autophagy inhibition leads to an imbalance between ROS production and defense, causing necroptosis that may enhance cancer treatment efficacy.
Macroautophagy (autophagy hereafter) is a catabolic process by which cells degrade intracellular components in lysosomes. This cellular garbage disposal and intracellular recycling provided by autophagy serves to maintain cellular homeostasis by eliminating superfluous or damaged proteins and organelles, and invading microbes, or to provide substrates for energy generation and biosynthesis in stress. Thus, autophagy promotes the health of cells and animals and is critical for development, differentiation and maintenance of cell function and for the host defense against pathogens. Deregulation of autophagy is linked to susceptibility to various disorders including degenerative diseases, metabolic syndrome, aging, infectious diseases and cancer. Autophagic activity emerges as a critical factor in development and progression of diseases that are associated with increased cancer risk as well as in different stages of cancer. Given that cancer is a complex process and autophagy exerts its effect in multiple ways, role of autophagy in tumorigenesis is context-dependent. As a cytoprotective survival pathway, autophagy prevents chronic tissue damage and cell death that can lead to cancer initiation and progression. As such, stimulation or restoration of autophagy may prevent cancer. By contrast, once cancer occurs, cancer cells may utilize autophagy to enhance fitness to survive with altered metabolism and in the hostile tumor microenvironment. In this setting autophagy inhibition would instead become a strategy for therapy of established cancers.
autophagy; metabolism; homeostasis; inflammation; cancer prevention
To study the correlation between Stratus optical coherence tomography (OCT) and scanning laser polarimetry (GDx VCC) in measuring retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness in eyes with early glaucoma (EG), ocular hypertension (OH), and glaucoma suspect (GS) in a Taiwan Chinese population.
One eye each of 170 subjects (50 eyes with EG, 32 eyes with OH, 38 eyes with GS and 50 healthy eyes) was included. The RNFL thickness was measured by both technologies and three parameters (average, superior and inferior thickness) were correlated using the Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) in each group. Diagnostic capability of two instruments was evaluated in EG, OH and GS eyes based on the area under the receive operator characteristic (AROC) curve.
In healthy and EG eyes, three RNFL parameters were significantly correlated. In OH eye, there was no significant correlation in three parameters. In GS eye, there was significant correlation in inferior thickness only. For healthy vs EG eye, the best parameter with largest AROC was nerve fiber indicator (0.798) for GDx VCC and average thickness (0.787) for OCT. The diagnostic capability of two techniques is poor in OH (AROC, 0.510–0.645) and GS eyes (AROC, 0.510–0.689).
The RNFL thickness measured by OCT and GDx VCC was well correlated in EG and healthy eyes but poorly correlated in OH and GS eyes. When managing the case with OH or GS eye, we should be cautious in interpreting different imaging data.
Stratus OCT; GDx VCC; Early glaucoma; Ocular hypertension; Glaucoma suspect; Stratus OCT; GDx VCC; Glaucoma temprano; Hipertensión ocular; Sospecha de glaucoma
Overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been associated with cancer. Targeted inhibition of the EGFR pathway has been shown to limit proliferation of cancerous cells. Hence, we employed Traditional Chinese Medicine Database (TCM Database@Taiwan) (http://tcm.cmu.edu.tw) to identify potential EGFR inhibitor. Multiple Linear Regression (MLR), Support Vector Machine (SVM), Comparative Molecular Field Analysis (CoMFA), and Comparative Molecular Similarities Indices Analysis (CoMSIA) models were generated using a training set of EGFR ligands of known inhibitory activities. The top four TCM candidates based on DockScore were 2-O-caffeoyl tartaric acid, Emitine, Rosmaricine, and 2-O-feruloyl tartaric acid, and all had higher binding affinities than the control Iressa®. The TCM candidates had interactions with Asp855, Lys716, and Lys728, all which are residues of the protein kinase binding site. Validated MLR (r2 = 0.7858) and SVM (r2 = 0.8754) models predicted good bioactivity for the TCM candidates. In addition, the TCM candidates contoured well to the 3D-Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (3D-QSAR) map derived from the CoMFA (q2 = 0.721, r2 = 0.986) and CoMSIA (q2 = 0.662, r2 = 0.988) models. The steric field, hydrophobic field, and H-bond of the 3D-QSAR map were well matched by each TCM candidate. Molecular docking indicated that all TCM candidates formed H-bonds within the EGFR protein kinase domain. Based on the different structures, H-bonds were formed at either Asp855 or Lys716/Lys728. The compounds remained stable throughout molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. Based on the results of this study, 2-O-caffeoyl tartaric acid, Emitine, Rosmaricine, and 2-O-feruloyl tartaric acid are suggested to be potential EGFR inhibitors.
Tumor growth is associated with overexpression of epidermal growth factors receptors. Targeted control of EGFR by EGFR inhibitors is an attractive therapy alternative to conventional cancer treatment that offers specificity and reduced adverse effects. The purpose of this study was to identify natural compounds from traditional Chinese medicine that may be used as EGFR inhibitors. The top four TCM compounds with the highest binding affinity to EGFR were selected and their suitability as EGFR inhibitors confirmed with different statistical prediction models. The candidate compounds had higher bioactivity than Iressa®, the drug that is clinically used. The TCM compounds also met key structural components that were characteristic among known inhibitors. In addition, the binding between TCM compounds and EGFR were stable which is a fundamental requirement for any targeting drug. Results from bioactivity prediction, structural component matching, and binding stability all point to the possibility of these TCM compounds as suitable EGFR inhibitor candidates.
To study the capability of scanning laser polarimetry with variable corneal compensation (GDx VCC) to detect differences in retinal nerve fiber layer thickness between normal and glaucomatous eyes in a Taiwan Chinese population.
This study included 44 normal eyes and 107 glaucomatous eyes. The glaucomatous eyes were divided into three subgroups on the basis of its visual field defects (early, moderate, severe). Each subject underwent a GDx-VCC exam and visual field testing. The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AROC) of each relevant parameter was used to differentiate normal from each glaucoma subgroup, respectively. The correlation between visual field index and each parameter was evaluated for the eyes in the glaucoma group.
For normal vs. early glaucoma, the parameter with the best AROC was Nerve fiber indicator (NFI) (0.942). For normal vs. moderate glaucoma, the parameter showing the best AROC was NFI (0.985). For normal vs. severe glaucoma, the parameter that had the best AROC was NFI (1.000). For early vs. moderate glaucoma, the parameter with the best AROC was NFI (0.732). For moderate vs. severe, the parameter showing the best AROC was temporal-superior-nasal-inferior-temporal average (0.652). For early vs. severe, the parameter with the best AROC was NFI (0.852).
GDx-VCC-measured parameters may serve as a useful tool to distinguish normal from glaucomatous eyes; in particular, NFI turned out to be the best discriminating parameter.
GDx VCC polarimetry; glaucoma; retinal nerve fiber damage; polarimetría GDx VCC; glaucoma; daño en las fibras nerviosas de la retina